In the section Brønsted-Lowry acid and base theory from Khan Academy:

In the reaction $\ce{LiOH(aq) + HBr(aq) -> H2O(l) + LiBr(aq)}$, $\ce{HBr}$ is donating a proton to $\ce{LiOH}$, thus acting as a Brønsted-Lowry acid. Since $\ce{LiOH}$ accepts the proton, it is acting as a Brønsted-Lowry base.

Image source: https://i.sstatic.net/fjV8R.png

I don't understand how $\ce{HBr}$ is donating a proton to $\ce{LiOH}$, because I think it would produce something like "$\ce{LiOH2}$", but the reaction gives $\ce{LiBr}$. So where is my misunderstanding?

  • $\begingroup$ If you see something that needs improvement, please don't just down vote it, and kindly leave a comment so that I can pay attention to the insufficiency. Thank you $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ You need to understand there is no LiOH nor HBr in water solution as molecules. LiOH is ionic compound , HBr is strongly polar compound, both fully dissociation to respective ions. So the reaction is just a reaction of the B-L acid H3O+(aq) and B-L base + OH-(aq). $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ The quoted text describes chemistry in a non-traditional language. It could be totally understandable if you kept to certain limits, but then, there's one effect that needs different terminology, and the whole language falls apart. It's like using poetry to describe mathematical operations. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


I think it would produce something like "LiOH2,"

You are missing the charge. It should be something like $\ce{LiOH2+}$, which is an unconventional way of writing $\ce{Li+(aq) + H2O(l)}$.

So where is my misunderstanding?

You have to get used to interpreting the (aq) designation after ionic compounds. To help you out, here is the equation written with the ions shown as individual species (more typing, but closer to the actual situation):

$$\ce{Li+(aq) + OH-(aq) + H+(aq) + Br-(aq) -> Li+(aq) + H2O(l) + Br-(aq)}$$


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